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Last reviewed: Thu, 10 Nov 2011

Statement of Intent regarding the Council's relationship with the community and voluntary sectors



The Council notes, as an expression of the commitment of the Council to work with the voluntary sector:

Statement of Intent (Summary)
This Statement of Intent is an expression of the Council's commitment to work with the voluntary sector for the betterment of the community, to champion and support voluntary activity, and to jointly influence national policy where appropriate.

The underlying philosophy of this Statement of Intent is that the voluntary sector is fundamental to the development of a democratic, socially inclusive and prosperous society. Voluntary groups, as independent, not-for-profit organisations, bring distinctive value to Christchurch and fulfil a role that is distinct from both the state and the market. Voluntary organisations make major tangible and difficult to quantify contributions to the social, cultural, economic and political life of the city.

It is acknowledged that not all voluntary organisations will have an interest in seeking a relationship with the Council. Some will prefer to pursue their own objectives without reference to Council. Others may find themselves more often in opposition to Council than in collaboration. On the occasions when both the Council and the voluntary sector organisations choose to work together, this Statement of Intent sets out the principles of Council's action.

Aims
The Council aims to develop robust relationships between Council and the voluntary sector so we can build a better future for the people of Christchurch.

It is acknowledged that the voluntary sector and Council have their own spheres of action with different roles, responsibilities and resources. This Statement clarifies Council's view of the respective roles and responsibilities and identifies the Council's commitments to the voluntary sector.

Actions
This Statement is not viewed as an end in itself. Specific actions will be developed setting out how the Council will put these values and commitments into practice, with target dates where appropriate.

Values
The Council's dealing with the voluntary sector are based on the following values:

  • Active citizenship - participation of people in society through community involvement, and engagement in decision making and policy implementation processes.
  • Democratic society - which acknowledges the value of voluntary sector activity and upholds the right of citizens to associate freely with another in pursuit of common purposes. A society that enables all its citizens to participate, to share rights and responsibilities, and which incorporates an independent voluntary sector.
  • Diversity - which welcomes the diversity of identities, interests and abilities within Christchurch and upholds the right of each interest group to speak on its own behalf.
  • Effectiveness - using limited resources so as to maximise positive change for people. This reflects a resolve to carefully select the issues to jointly work on, to specifically target programmes, and projects, and to focus on the structural forces in society that keep people in poverty or disadvantage.
  • Equity - a fair and equitable distribution of power and resources, recognising that reducing inequality offers the prospect of greater social wellbeing.
  • Social justice - through the pursuit of fairness, tolerance and social cohesion, opposing all forms of discrimination and ensuring the participation of those who are marginalised
  • Sustainable development - that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
  • Treaty of Waitangi - honouring the Treaty of Waitangi and working to support the practices of partnership.

Commitments
In working with voluntary organisations, volunteers and community development groups, the Council makes the following commitments:

  • Respect - The Council values the contribution the voluntary sector makes to the social, economic, environmental and cultural life of the city. It will respect and champion the independence of the sector, including the right of voluntary organisations to determine their own priorities, manage their own affairs, develop their own models of good practice and comment on and challenge Council and Government policy, irrespective of any funding relationship that might exist.
  • Representation - The Council recognises that meaningful representation improves policy development and enhances the design and delivery of programmes. It will support and extend opportunities for the sector to articulate local needs and priorities to central, regional and local governments, private sector agencies, service providers and other agencies. It will involve the sector in the process of developing and monitoring policies, strategies and programmes.
  • Resourcing - The Council acknowledges that the provision of funding and other forms of support is an important means of enhancing the sector's ability to contribute to the wellbeing of the city. The Council will develop and follow best practice in funding and resourcing of the sector.
  • Relationships - The Council recognises that the Council and the sector have distinct yet complementary roles and that there is added value in working in co-operatively [working co-operatively] towards common aims. It will promote effective collaborations based on openness, trust and mutual recognition. The Council will work to honour the specific Treaty relationship between iwi/Maori and the crown.

Noted by the Council as a Statement of Intent as an expression of the commitment of the Council to work with the voluntary sector, 24 May 2001.

A final paragraph was added as an amendment by Council, 28 June 2001:

  • Expectations - The Council has a responsibility to be publicly accountable for resources. While the Council is committed to reducing undue accountability costs on the sector, it expects voluntary organisations to account for any public funds received in such ways as to command public confidence. This includes meeting reporting and accountability obligations, and evaluation of programme effectiveness.

Council
28 June 2001

 

Authorising Unit: Strategy Support

Last reviewed: Thursday, 10 November 2011

Next review: Thursday, 10 May 2012

Keywords: community groups, community policy, relationship, voluntary organisations